A gravel calculator can become a helpful tool as soon as you start landscaping. Whether you’re building a path or filling a garden, you’ll need to know how much gravel you need. If you don’t use a gravel estimator, you can end up with far more than you expect – or not enough! Both situations can be a hassle.
Read on for information on gravel calculators, gravel types, and gravel quantities. This calculator can also work hand-in-hand with a concrete calculator.
How Much Gravel Do I Need?
Guesswork is not going to be much help to you when you’re working with gravel. Instead, it’s in your best interest to be as exact as possible. A gravel calculator can help. Here is how you can establish how much you will need.
1. Measure the excavation site (length and width). In this example, length (l) = four yards and width (w) = one yard.
2. Identify the excavation area by multiplying the length by the width.
Area = 4 x 1 = four yards-squared.
If you don’t want to work that out by hand, you can input the data into the calculator.
3. Identify the excavation site depth (d). In the example, depth = three yards.
4. Multiply the area by its depth to get the volume.
4 x 3 = 12 yards-squared.
5. How much gravel you need is measured by the excavation site volume.
If you would prefer to use sand for your path instead of gravel, you can use a sand calculator.
How Much Gravel is in One Yard?
Working out how much gravel in one yard is straightforward. Multiply the volume by the density, and you end up with the material’s weight. You don’t even have to remember the gravel’s density. A gravel calculator will take care of this value for you by default. However, if you have a different type of gravel, you can customize the settings to suit in the advanced mode.
Different Gravel Types for Your Project
Most people determine the gravel they need based on size, color, and shape.
The size varies significantly between different gravel types. You can have gravel shards as large as four inches, if not more. You then have it as small as a fresh garden pea. The different sizes you get can depend on your project.
You would use several layers of gravel for different projects. For example, large machine-crushed gravel is crucial for building foundations. Often, sand or dirt ends up with the gravel as a filler. Smaller gravel is suitable for filling gaps.
The two most common gravel shapes are pea gravel and angular gravel. Pea-shaped gravel is smooth and weathered, making it pleasant to walk on. It usually forms pathways well, but sinks underfoot and requires regular raking.
Angular gravel, on the other hand, holds its shape well. It’s quite sharp underfoot and would hurt to fall on! Angular gravel frequently features lava rock, quartzite, and decomposed granite.
When you’re landscaping, the color can be quite significant. It has to suit your home, flowers, and its surroundings. If you choose dark gravel, it retains heat and dries quickly. Lighter gravel can be a beautiful contrast to darker-colored homes or fences. You can use a gravel calculator for all types to find out how much you need.
How to Calculate Landscaping Gravel Quantities Using a Gravel Calculator
Not every landscaping situation with gravel is going to be clean-cut. You can’t always measure the length by the width to get the area. Let’s say you have created a square garden and want to surround it with gravel areas with different measurements. Since there’s a garden in the middle of the path, you won’t be able to use the calculator in a traditional sense.
Follow these steps below.
1. Divide the gravel path into four sections, labeled 1, 2, 3, and 4.
2. Figure out the length and width of each section:
Part 1 – w = 0.4 yd, l = 7 yd
Part 2 – w = 4 yd, l = 1 yd
Part 3 – w = 3 yd, l = 2 yd
Part 4 – w = 0.5 yd, l = 7 yd
3. Calculate each rectangle’s area.
Part 1 – 0.4 x 7 = 2.8 yards-squared
Part 2 – 4 x 1 = 4 yards-squared
Part 3 – 3 x 2 = 6 yards-squared
Part 4 = 0.5 x 7 = 3.5 yards-squared
4. Add these sums together to get the full area.
2.8 + 4 + 6 + 3.5 = 16.3 yards-squared
5. You then have to consider the gravel thickness. For this example, we’ll say it’s 0.2 yards. The gravel should be thick enough to cover the ground. What’s more, the thicker the gravel, the more resilient it will be. You may even like to consider different gravel types in layers.
6. Calculate the gravel volume you need. Do this by multiplying the path area (16.3 yards-squared) by the thickness (0.2 yards).
16.3 x 0.2 = 3.26 yards-squared
7. Finally, establish the weight of the gravel and its price tag. Knowing the load may also help with transporting it home in the correct vehicle. Gravel density is default in a gravel calculator, but you can change it yourself.
8. Working out the price tag requires you to know the price per cubic yard. Multiply the volume by the rate of one cubic yard. You can also change the weight type to suit your needs.